Contents | April 2001

In This Issue (Contributors)

Also by Thomas Lux:
Henry Clay's Mouth (1999)
The Man Into Whose Yard You Should Not Hit Your Ball (1998)
He Has Lived In Many Houses (1996)
Torn Shades (1996)
Gorgeous Surfaces (1994)
Virgule (1992)
Snake Lake (1984)
The Atlantic Monthly | April 2001

by Thomas Lux
audioear pictureHear Thomas Lux read this poem (in RealAudio)

One sweet pound of filet mignon
sizzles on the roadside. Let's say a hundred yards below
the buzzard. The buzzard
sees no cars or other buzzards
between the mountain range due north
and the horizon to the south
and across the desert west and east
no other creature's nose leads him to this feast.
The buzzard's eyes are built for this: he can see the filet's raw
and he likes the sprig
of parsley in this brown and dusty place.
No abdomens to open here before he eats.
No tearing, slashing with his beak,
no offal-wading
to pick and rip the softest parts.
He does not need to threaten or screech
to keep the other buzzards from his meat.
He circles slowly down,
not a flap, not a shiver in his wide wings,
and lands before his dinner, an especially lucky buzzard,
who bends his neck to pray, then eats.

Copyright © 2001 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved. The Atlantic Monthly; April 2001; Lucky - 01.04; Volume 287, No. 4; page 74.